Tag Archives: Australia

State Library of Victoria given $5 million in rare books

“A late Melbourne QC’s rare English book collection, estimated to be worth more than $5 million, has been given to the State Library of Victoria. The 5000 works, mostly from the 15th to 18th century, were collected over 46 years by barrister, physicist and bibliophile John Emmerson, who died last year aged 76. In his will, he asked that his personal library, which lined five rooms at his South Yarra mansion, remain intact, in a Melbourne institution.” (via SMH)

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New York helps sort Queensland’s digital history

“The State Library of Queensland is getting members of the public to help make its digital photos, newspaper articles and diaries more accessible online as part of the Pitch In! program. Volunteers are set tasks such as adding information to photos and transcribing newspaper articles that make up the library’s online digital collection. Margaret Warren is the co-ordinator of discovery services and says people are involved from as far as New York and Ireland.” (via ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation))

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Old telephone phone booths get new life as libraries

“TWO Czechs have breathed new life into telephone booths made obsolete in the mobile phone age, converting them into mini libraries with the first one installed at a Prague hospital on Thursday. On the shelves of the red booth, patients of the IKEM hospital will find a plethora of genres, including works by US crime writer John Grisham, Czech and Russian titles and biographer Andrew Morton’s Diana: Her True Story. Library mastermind Monika Serbusova, 27, said she and a friend drew inspiration from a similar project in Britain.” (via News.com.au)

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State Library of NSW and Wikipedia unite in Australia’s first GLAM residency

“Wikipedia is set to experience a dramatic increase in Australian content with the State Library of NSW becoming the first Australian cultural institution to engage a GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) Wikipedian-in-residence. According to Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive: “There’s limited Australian content on Wikipedia compared to USA and Europe, and we want to provide more. The Wikipedian-in-residence will enable local knowledge to be more easily accessible on one of the world’s most popular websites.” (via IFLA)

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The Great Purge of Our Libraries

Quadrant Online – “When I was an undergraduate my tutor used to look through the lecture list to see what was worth attending. “Oh, no, he’s no good. Oh, no, you wouldn’t get much out of that. No, I don’t think you’d want to waste time there,” he would say, adding, “I think you’d best just go along to the library.” For years I felt that, awful as they have become, universities still provided a base for literature, history, knowledge. Continuities were transmitted. History was preserved. Even when the teaching faltered the library was there. The books provided their own record. And now they are being thrown out. The destruction of libraries currently under way marks a new era of thought control. It is a widespread phenomenon in the developed world, and Australia is dutifully conforming.”

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Google weighs into internet filter debate

Digital Media – “Google has added it’s voice to the chorus of dissent against the Federal Government’s proposed mandatory internet filters. Google had already baulked at the Communication Minister Stephen Conroy’s assertion that it should do more to censor YouTube videos. However in a posting on Google Australia Blog, the company has outlined a submission it has made to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.”

More here

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SA backs down on internet comment control

ABC – “South Australia’s Attorney-General Michael Atkinson admits he misjudged public opinion on the state’s attempt to curb political comment on the internet. Mr Atkinson says he will repeal a law which would have meant that anyone posting comment or blogs during an election period would have had to publish their real name and postcode online.”

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Fighting Internet Censorship in Australia

EFF – “Our fellow Internet freedom advocates at Electronic Frontiers Australia are gearing up for an important fight in the new year as the Australian government proposes mandatory national Internet filters with a secret blacklist.”

More here from SMH.

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Australian government to introduce Internet filter

AP – “Australia plans to introduce an Internet filtering system to block obscene and crime-linked Web sites despite concerns it will curtail freedoms and won’t completely work. Adopting a mandatory screening system would make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among the world’s democracies. Authoritarian regimes commonly impose controls. China drew international criticism earlier this year with plans to install filtering software on all PCs sold in the country.”

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Charles Darwin letter found in library book

ABC News – “The State Library of South Australia has long had a valuable letter from the great naturalist and father of evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin, but only recently discovered it had another, hidden inside a book in a basement and forgotten for generations. The letter was found by librarian Valerie Sitters, who writes histories for the library website.”

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